By Michael Winter, USA TODAY
An armed mob attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, late Tuesday, hours after Egyptians stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to protest a film they denounced as blasphemous against Islam. One American was reported dead and one slightly wounded, according to Wanis al-Sharef, an interior ministry official in Benghazi.
Update at 7:59 p.m. ET:
A Libyan security official tells the Associated Press that one American consulate employee was shot dead and another was wounded in the hand.
Update at 6:45 p.m. ET: Witnesses reported that much of the consulate was burned. U.S. officials said that the staff was evacuated safely. One U.S. guard was injured, a Libyan security official told Reuters. Al Jazeera cites reports that one person of unknown nationality died, but that has not been confirmed.
Three Libyan security officers were injured.
"There are fierce clashes between the Libyan army and an armed militia outside the U.S. consulate," Abdel-Monen Al-Hurr, spokesman for Libya's Supreme Security Committee, told Reuters. "The American security guards inside the building fired at the militia as they were trying to enter and attack it."
Original post: Reports from Libya say religious militants have attacked the U.S. Consulate in Bengazi with rocket-propelled grenades to protest a film that allegedly offends Islam.
The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli has confirmed the mob attack, which set fire to the consulate, AFP and CNN report.
There are no immediate reports of the extent of damage or whether any consular personnel have been injured.
The Dutch film sparked today's storming of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. The film is being produced by U.S.-based Coptic Christian Egyptians with the support of fundamentalist Christian preacher Terry Jones, who in March 2011 burned a Quran at his tiny Florida church.
The desecration sparked violent protests in Afghanistan, leaving at least 20 people dead, including eight U.N. aid workers. Jones denied culpability.